Genesis 25:21–26, Luke 1:5–25, 57
Parents have hopes and dreams for their children. In the last few decades, however, a disturbing trend has occurred. For many parents, children have become the target of their worship. Yes, worship.
The strands have been there for quite some time. You might remember the Cabbage Patch Doll craze, or Power Rangers, or Frozen, or whatever else is the rage for Christmas. Parents would spend crazy amounts of money to make sure their child got the “right” toy. Or, you could have a Dudley Dursley (a Harry Potter reference), whose parents got him an increasing amount of presents (and it was quantity, not quality) for his birthday. There was a point of spoiling them, but it became all about the child in an unhealthy way. When the child becomes worshipped, the child misses something very important…childhood.
The problem with the stories of these legendary figures (and many others in the Bible) is that (Esau, Jacob, John) they (and their parents) had an idea of what the plan was going forward to some degree. That doesn’t mean that the plans were something to look forward to (warring nations, revolutionary), but they had an idea. The important part was that it wasn’t their idea. It was God’s.
Having dreams for children, especially as the head off to the next stage of their lives, is great, but supporting and guiding their dreams will help them become the fulfilled and Christ-following people we want them to be, whether they are our children, grandchildren, or part of the framily.
1) Guiding the next generations does not end or begin with children, grandchildren, nephews, or nieces. We are all called to guide the next generation regardless of our age. Who has been God been calling you to guide?
2) We often lead the guiding of those not in our immediate family to others. However, being of the family of God means the immediate family is far larger than blood would tell. Who else has God been calling you to guide?
3) No person should only look to one person to be their guide or mentor. Nor should a guide or mentor believe that they are only responsible for only one. Think of the many who have guided and mentored you over the years. Give thanks to God, and pray for them.